Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Almada Negreiros Lisbon Itinerary | Rocha's Cruise Terminal

In the first half of the 20th century the large passengers ships were still the preferred way to travel between the continents and even between some European countries. Lisbon needed bigger and more modern ship terminals and the decision is taken to built three large maritime terminals in the right margin of river Tagus. The first at Alcântara, the second at Rocha do Conde de Óbidos and a firth one, whose construction was cancelled, at Cais do Sodré.

The two ship terminals, designed by the Portuguese architect Porfirio Pardal Monteiro constitute good examples of modernist architecture and enclosed inside some of what have already been called Alameda Negreiro's master pieces. Both terminals have in their visitors rooms the most magnificent sets of murals, depicting scenes of Portuguese history, tradition and everyday life, created by de imagination and hand of Almada Negreiros.

On a previous post I have presented you the works of Almada Negreiros at Alcântara Cruise Terminal. Continuing the relationship with the architect Pardal Monteiro, Almada Negreiros begins in 1946 the two great frescoed painted triptychs of the  Rocha de Conde Óbidos Cruise Terminal, which will only be concluded in 1948.

The Tagus river is a constant presence on both triptychs. On the first mural, the master unfolds the life  of Lisbon's inhabitants occupied with their activities on the riverside. There is some lyricism on this calm, quiet life scenes filled up with little stories, cleverly unified by the river.

In the second triptych, the three panels recompose a panoramic view of a boat. Although formally the boat is assumed to be the dominant subject, the motive it addresses is that of emigration. The theme of the departure of some, from the same quay where the panels are located, and of the "saudade" of the others, that stay is a recurrent subject that has strongly marked Portuguese history.

Unlike the paintings of Gare Marítima de Alcântara, the different figures are here cut out by a strong black line, which gives the composition a feature that reminds us of Cubism, with design assuming a great protagonism.

On my visit to Rocha's Cruise Terminal I was guest to Fundação Caloust Gulbenkian and had the privilege to be guided by the curator of Almada Negreiros exhibition - A Way of Being Modern. You can also visited the works of Almada Negreiros, making an appointment beforehand (at least 2 working days). The visits are held from Monday to Friday, starting at 10:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m., free of charges. The visits are preferably scheduled for groups (minimum 10 people) and individual requests can be joined to other groups already scheduled. For more information you must contact:

Divisão de Desenvolvimento e Relações Institucionais do Porto de Lisboa
Phone: +351 21 361 10 25

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